Buffering Immortalised at Eagle Farm
Written on the 27 October 2017
Buffering, the Queensland Horse of the Year (2012 to 2016) has been immortalised with a life-size statue standing in his honour at Eagle Farm.
The statue which was commissioned by the Brisbane Racing Club stands at the front of the new infield entrance at Eagle Farm to commemorate one of Queensland's most successful and loved racehorses, winning seven Group 1's and earning over $7 million.
Buffering tallied 20 wins from 55 starts (35 at Group 1 level) in his career, which included 2013 Manikato Stakes, 2013 and 2015 Winterbottom Stakes, 2013 VRC Sprint Classic, the Moir Stakes 2014 and 2015 and the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai 2016.
The unveiling occurred on Thursday which was on the eve of the Manikato Stakes. It took Buffering 18 starts at the top level until he broke through to win his first Group 1 at the 2013 Manikato Stakes. His retirement occurred after placing 6th at the Manikato Stakes last year.
"It took me six years to learn how to train him, but he got his just rewards in the end," trainer Rob Heathcote said. "Up to that stage we were wondering if he would ever win one."
Heathcote believed the public took so kindly to Buffering due to his 'never-say-die' attitude.
"Australians love an underdog and he had all the qualities of a great fighter. He would get knocked down but he would get back up again," he said. "And he did it in an era of sprinting greats."
Jockey Damien Browne said it was difficult to pinpoint his favourite moment with Buffering - each win had its own special story.
"He may not have been the best horse I've ever ridden, but his tenacity and will to win was unbelievable," Browne said.
The statue was unveiled with owners, trainer Rob Healthcote and jockey Damien Browne present to witness and honour the gelding with the fighting spirit.
Buffering was meant to be present as well but it seems he has become quite stubborn in his retirement. Part owner Bruce Harry said the now 10-year-old refused to get on the float.
"They even sent his favourite float from Rob's but he wasn't having a bar of it," Harry said.
BRC Chairman Neville Bell said this is the first time a full-size statue had been unveiled in the 152 year history of Eagle Farm.
"From day one of this club, it was always the plan to have a significant statue at Eagle Farm and we couldn't think of a better opportunity than with Buffering," he said.
"He was a great ambassador for racing in Queensland and for the Brisbane Racing Club."
(Photo: Rob Heathcote and Damien Browne at the unveiling of the statue, Buffering at Eagle Farm - Photo source: News Corp Australia)